Everything you need to know heading into the 2014 NFL Draft.
The NFL Draft is finally here! It’s like having your birthday, Thanksgiving, and Christmas rolled into t̶w̶o̶ three (and maybe someday four) wonderful days in l̶a̶t̶e̶ ̶A̶p̶r̶i̶l̶ early May.
The way to build a perennial NFL contender like the Seahawks, 49ers or Packers is through the draft, so how will your favorite team (in my case, the New York Football Giants) add to the puzzle? Or, if your favorite team was awful last year (such as my New York Football Giants), it’s finally time to be rewarded for your team’s ineptitude, and to be compensated for ruining every Sunday last fall. (Not that I’m bitter or anything …)
With this year’s NFL Draft one of the deepest in years, Adam Schein has spent a lot of time this offseason talking about some of the top prospects, including Buffalo pass rusher Khalil Mack, Clemson wide receiver Sammy Watkins, and of course, Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel. To Adam though, there is no debate who the Houston Texans should take with the No. 1 overall pick. He said it back in February, and he’s said it as recently as this week: South Carolina DE Jadeveon Clowney.
In fact, Adam has said numerous times on Schein on Sports that there is no elite franchise quarterback in this year’s draft, and when friend of the program Phil Simms joined us in February, the former quarterback went as far as to say:
After he had a chance to look at the tape more closely, Simms joined Adam once again and broke down two of the more polarizing quarterback prospects in this year’s draft: Manziel, and Louisville quarterback Teddy Bridgewater.
Of course, just because Adam doesn’t believe that there is a franchise quarterback in this year’s class doesn’t mean that there won’t be teams that convince themselves otherwise. Part of the reason why the Texans, Browns, Raiders and Jaguars are picking at this top of this year’s draft is because of lousy play from the quarterback position in 2013. This past Tuesday, Adam talked about which of those teams might be a fit for Johnny Football, and which teams must address the quarterback position at some point this weekend.
One of the most intriguing qualities of this year’s draft is that there is no clear-cut top pick. While many people believe that Clowney will go No. 1, some believe Mack could surprise and be the top pick instead. CBS NFL Draft analyst Corey Chavous joined the show a couple weeks ago, and revealed he’s among the Mack backers.
Now that we hit on the some of the top prospects, let’s talk about specific teams and what they plan on doing. You may recall that recently, Adam’s interview with Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley was the Interview of the Week. The former Seahawks defensive coordinator was excited about the aforementioned top defensive prospects, and talked about the comparisons between Manziel and current Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.
Speaking of the Seahawks, their general manager John Schneider joined Adam this past Tuesday. He also got into the Manziel-Wilson comparisons and talked about how the defending Super Bowl champs will approach this draft. But the most interesting thing he had to say was that this draft might not be any more deep than what they’re used to seeing. The Seahawks roster is loaded with Pro Bowl caliber players, many of whom he and head coach Pete Carroll selected, so Schneider’s analysis of this year’s draft is noteworthy.
The Rams have the second overall pick in this year’s draft thanks to their trade with the Washington Redskins a couple years ago. Rams general manager Les Snead talked about the possibility of trading that pick, but St. Louis could very easily keep that pick and take a franchise left tackle like Auburn’s Greg Robinson, or a top wide receiver such as Clemson’s Watkins.
Of course, trades usually make up some of the top moments in any NFL Draft. Who is moving up to get their guy? Who is stockpiling picks and looking toward the future? Did a team give up too much to move up two slots to pick a cornerback? Why are the Patriots moving back in another draft? NFL Network draft analyst and former scout Daniel Jeremiah joined Adam live in studio on Wednesday and talked about a couple teams that might be looking to trade up.
GIF of the week
It’s the NFL Draft. You know what’s coming. Regardless of who the Jets take, you’ll probably see a reaction like this.
For the record, this man was booing the selection of 2013 Associated Press NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year Sheldon Richardson. Nice job, pal.
5 Things to Watch For In The Draft
- The Dallas Cowboys may do something foolish because they don’t have a real general manager. Yes, Jerry Jones has come out and said that they will not draft Manziel if he falls to them – and they shouldn’t. The Cowboys have plenty of needs on the defensive side of the ball and the quarterback they already have happens to be the best player on the team. I still wouldn’t put anything past this man, though, if Johnny Football were to fall to them at No. 16.
- The Baltimore Ravens pick at No. 17, and reportedly covet North Carolina tight end Eric Ebron. Ebron will probably be gone by the time the Ravens are on the clock, but few people are better at the NFL Draft than Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome, Erik DeCosta and company. There will be a very good player that falls to the Ravens, and they will run to the podium to get the pick in.
- The Oakland Raiders have the fifth overall selection and are in desperate need of impact players. They could use a left tackle after losing Jared Veldheer in free agency. Watkins would be a playmaker that they haven’t had on offense in years, and if Mack fell to them at No. 5, it would be a tremendous coup for Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen. Last year, the Raiders traded down from No. 3 to No. 12, and there is a possibility they will do something similar this year, as McKenzie continues to try to add talent to their depleted roster.
- Adam has mentioned that the Cincinnati Bengals could possibly be in the quarterback business. Picking at No. 24, the Bengals are in prime position to take one. Somebody among Blake Bortles, Bridgewater and Derek Carr will probably be available in that spot.
- As of this writing, the Cleveland Browns and St. Louis Rams are the only teams with multiple first round picks. Cleveland has No. 4 and No. 26, as well as a glaring need at QB. St. Louis has No. 2 and No. 13, as well as a, “We’re not trading Sam Bradford” statement from head coach Jeff Fisher. Both teams will draft a quarterback, it’s just a matter of where and when.
Enjoy the 2014 NFL Draft. The NFL season begins in just 119 short days.
You can follow Adam Schein, Nick Kostos, & Jared Moore on Twitter to keep track of the latest with the Schein on Sports crew!